KyCPA-PAC: Why Advocacy is an investment in Kentucky CPAs, businesses and individual citizens
October 25, 2021
By P. Anthony Allen
As the new Government Affairs Director for the Kentucky Society of CPAs, one of my primary responsibilities is directing and fundraising for the Society’s Political Action Committee (KyCPA - PAC). The KyCPA – PAC has become one of the leading professional association PACs in Kentucky due to the contributions from the Society’s loyal membership. Having a strong PAC is a key part of our success in Frankfort and has assisted us in making sure our members’ needs were heard during the 2021 Regular Session, Special Session and throughout COVID-19. For this issue of The Kentucky CPA Journal, I will analyze why any contribution, be it small or large, is an investment in the laws, regulations and policies that dictate the parameters of the CPA profession.
Investing in the KyCPA – PAC
Advocacy is significantly reliant upon facilitating relationships and maintaining a presence with key stakeholders and policymakers. The KyCPA – PAC is a major tool in achieving success in these initiatives by assisting the Society with building strategic relationships throughout the Commonwealth. As a Society, our primary goal is to provide guidance on the administration of sound tax policy at the state and local level while also protecting the laws and regulations that dictate the expertise, education and licensing requirements of the CPA profession. These recommendations are not only beneficial to CPAs but their business and individual clients as well.
The policy priorities and determination of the allocation of KyCPA – PAC funds are made by CPA members of the Society who volunteer to direct these decisions. Specifically, the KyCPA – PAC Committee reviews the contributions and directs targeted funds to candidates and policymakers that demonstrate support for the Society, its members and the business community. Funds distributed to Kentucky House, Senate and Constitutional officers by meeting with policymakers directly or attending fundraising events (providing access to multiple legislators in attendance) make it possible to facilitate relationships. Building relationships and solidifying the Society’s presence amongst policymakers is crucial to our success during Regular and Special Sessions and throughout the year.
Following the onset of COVID-19, access to policymakers became selectively limited to phone calls, emails and virtual meetings. However, the strong relationships previously built by the KyCPA – PAC allowed the Society to continue successful advocacy efforts and make significant impacts. These included getting the accounting profession deemed an essential service with the onset of the pandemic, the extension of state tax filing deadlines in 2020 and 2021, working with our Federal Congressional delegation in crafting the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), enacting PPP expense deductibility via HB 278, ensuring COVID-19 liability protection for businesses via SB 5 and ensuring the Kentucky Department of Revenue conformed to other critical tax relief measures taken at the federal level.
Why this year is so critical to have a voice in Frankfort
As there are no regularly slated Kentucky House, Senate, or statewide elections this year, it remains crucial to support the policymakers that have worked with the Society in previous years and who are willing to demonstrate the backing of our interests and the CPA profession. This upcoming 2022 Regular Session will address multiple major issues including COVID-19 mitigation efforts extended by this most recent Special Session, the allocation of the remaining American Rescue Plan State Recovery funding, the new biennial budget, redistricting of legislative districts with the release of the 2020 Census data and potentially tax reform following the major policy changes that resulted from the onset of the pandemic.
As these issues begin to arise moving towards the next Regular Session, support for the KyCPA – PAC will remain critical as key relationships and communication will be utilized to provide direct guidance on tax policy and protecting the CPA profession. The policies that affect CPAs and the regulations that dictate how they operate in their profession can be dense and complex. Therefore, it is vital that the Society remain present and available to policymakers as a guide to provide understanding, background and context to certain policy initiatives.
The KyCPA – PAC’s involvement and activity in the past provided the ability for our advocacy efforts to make impacts during the 2021 Special Session in September. Without much warning, we were able to react quickly and decisively to advocate for the extension of the COVID-19 liability protection under the continuing State of Emergency. Without the support of the KyCPA – PAC, this challenge would have been far more difficult to achieve.
KyCPA 2021 legislative and policy wins
- The Society led the way on the passage of House Bill (HB) 278, which provided the ability to deduct expenses covered by the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The Society also advocated and worked directly with Members of the U.S. Congress to achieve this initiative at the federal level as well.
- The U.S. Internal Revenue Service implemented an additional tax filing deadline due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 earlier this year, extending the date from April 15 to May 17. Due to efforts led by the Society, this policy was subsequently implemented by executive action from the Governor and codified by the General Assembly by the close of the 2021 Regular Session.
- During the 2021 Regular Session, Senate Bill (SB) 5 sheltered certain businesses from lawsuits related to “any injury or harm that allegedly occurred on or after the emergency was declared on March 6, 2020 and until the emergency declaration is withdrawn.” This legislation provided liability protection for businesses and with the efforts of KyCPA and other business organizations, the provision was extended following the 2021 Special Session.
The Society’s advocacy efforts are an important resource for legislators and policymakers throughout the Commonwealth. They value what KyCPA brings to the table when it comes to tax policy and regulations that dictate the CPA profession. KyCPA – PAC’s involvement and support of key legislators is critical to the Society's outreach when policy decisions are established. Policymakers have continued to communicate with KyCPA members during COVID-19 and moving forward due to the KyCPA – PAC.
How can I contribute to the KyCPA – PAC?
Contributions to the KyCPA – PAC are a direct investment in the laws, statutes, regulations and policies that dictate the CPA profession and tax policy in the Commonwealth. You can invest in the KyCPA – PAC in two ways:
An individual contribution can be made online at kycpa.org/advocacy/pac or by personal check made payable to KyCPA – PAC at 1735 Alliant Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40299. Individuals are limited to an annual $1,500 contribution to the KyCPA – PAC.
PAC – to – PAC contribution
If your firm or company has its own PAC, it can contribute to the KyCPA – PAC. Like individuals, PACs are limited to an annual $1,500 contribution. KyCPA - PAC cannot accept firm or corporate contributions, including those made by pass-through entities.
Questions or comments
If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please feel free to reach out to the Society’s Government Affairs Director, P. Anthony Allen, at email@example.com.
KyCPA Behind the Numbers: KyCPA-PAC and advocacy updates
Anthony Allen, KyCPA government affairs director and KyCPA member Alan Long, managing member at Baldwin CPAs, speak about past and upcoming KyCPA advocacy efforts, legislative wins from last year and why to invest in the KyCPA-PAC.